Masterpiece Bakery and its owner Jack Phillips in Lakewood, CO (just west of Denver) are engulfed in a storm of controversy after Phillips told a gay couple picking out their wedding cake he wouldn't make one for them because he doesn't support gay marriage.
Philips claims he isn't discriminating against gays, he will make them birthday cakes or cakes for any other occasion besides a marriage.
Phillips is taking a beating on Facebook and even on Yelp. A large protest is scheduled for next Saturday. Phillips doesn't seem to be fazed.
We would close down that bakery before we closed our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to … we’ll see,” Phillips said.
There are plenty of other bakeries in Lakewood. Elegant Bakeries has won lots of awards for its wedding cakes and is family owned and operated. There's also Et Cetera Gourmet and Cakes by Karen. Masterpiece's discrimination is unacceptable. [More...] It seems to me if Masterpiece operates under a retail business license issued by Lakewood or Jefferson County, and is open to the public, it should be have to sell to all of the public. Stupid decision by Phillips.
Update: It seems Masterpiece is violating Colorado law which prohibits retail businesses from discriminating against people because of sexual orientation or marital status, among other reasons.
The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act provides: Places of public accommodation may not deny any person participation, entry, or services based upon the persons sexual orientation, including transgender status.
... A public accommodation is any place of business engaged in offering sales or services of any kind to the public, as well as any place offering facilities, privileges, advantages or other accommodations to the public. Typical examples of public accommodations include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants, stores, hospitals, clinics, and health clubs.
Here's the statute. "place of public accommodation" means any place of business engaged in any sales to the public and any place offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, including but not limited to any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public;
...(2) It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any written, electronic, or printed communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.
The penalty: 1) Any person who violates section 24-34-601 shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each violation. A person aggrieved by the violation of section 24-34-601 shall bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the violation occurred. Upon finding a violation, the court shall order the defendant to pay the fine to the aggrieved party.
(2) For each violation of section 24-34-601, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
I wonder what happens if multiple gay couples now request wedding cakes from Masterpiece, are denied, and each files a complaint.
Monday morning, James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shootings, will be advised of the charges against him. The DA previously said in a pleading not under seal there will 12 counts of first degree murder, attempted murder and other charges.
Holmes will not be called upon to plead tomorrow. It is not an arraignment, but an advisement.
There is one motion of interest that will be heard tomorrow -- the defense request for discovery pertaining to leaks about the package Holmes allegedly sent to a psychiatrist/professor (described here.) The DA filed this response, denying it has been established that law enforcement leaked the information. The DA says the news reports got so much wrong, they may just have fabricated their stories. The DA also says their office hasn't yet looked at the contents of the package. It was the Aurora Police Department, not the FBI, who obtained the search warrant, and there was one warrant, not two. [More...]
These factual errors lead the People to believe that there may not even be a "law enforcement source" leaking" confidential information and that the media is getting information from hoaxers, fraudsters, or maybe from nobody at all by creating fake "law enforcement sources" out of whole cloth. To put it bluntly, the People are extremely dubious of the media assertions that "law enforcement sources" exist.
As to the media reports that Holmes told the cops after his arrest about mailing the package, the DA writes:
While the People have seen this report in the media, the People believe that it is just another inaccurate media report floating adrift in a sea of inaccurate media reports relating to this case. Because the People believe that it is just an inaccurate media report-and that the media outlets reporting the information may have just made it up, the People do not even know how to respond to this portion of Motion D-11.
The DA says they haven't examined the contents of the package or box:
Other stories have stated that the police are currently examining the contents of the box - again untrue, as the contents were secured and not examined, and held for potential in camera review.
If the DA hasn't examined the contents of the package or box, I wonder how they make this claim:
The People dispute the defendant's assertions that a privilege existed in relation to the contents of the package, and dispute that there has been a "breach" of the privilege, and thus dispute thal any documents, materials or information related to anything "privileged" or to any "breach" are in existence, and merely state that documents and other information exists relating to the discovery, testing for explosives, contaminants; and seizure of the package.
In addition to its shot at Fox News, the DA attacks NBC News:
For instance, the Fox News story stated that the FBI took possession of the package and its contents- this is incorrect, as it was the Aurora Police Department. The NBCNEWS.com story indicated that the Aurora Police Department had obtained two search warrants, one for the package itself and a second one for its contents. This is not correct, as the Aurora Police Department obtained only one search warrant.
Judge Sylvester entered this order stating he would address the discovery motion tomorrow. He will also set a briefing and hearing schedule on the media's motion to unseal the docket.
Dick Cheney has some advice for Mitt Romney: Don't pick a Sarah Palin. Cheney says he likes Palin but McCain shouldn't have picked her for his running mate because she wasn't qualified. He says the test has to be whether the person is qualified to assume the Presidency and she was not.
The interview will air tomorrow and highlights, including the part about Palin, are already available. I couldn't stand to watch for than 10 seconds of Dick Cheney, so I didn't see the actual remarks.
Adm. Dennis Blair, the former director of National Intelligence, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum this weekend, told the audience that it is virtually impossible for the feds to identify and prevent a lone wolf attack like James Holmes, Jared Laughner or the Fort Hood shooter, without severely curtailing civil liberties:
[T]here would need to be a higher level of surveillance and government agencies would have to share more information, which could contradict an individual’s right to privacy, Blair said. “The cost in civil liberties and privacy that we would have to pay to get our intelligence to that level would [be high],” Blair said.
Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said there's a better way:
While there are 12,000 FBI agents, there are 2 million first responders, Olsen said. The government can help prevent the lone wolf attack by training those first responders on how to identify the potential threat, Olsen said. [More...]
Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, agreed with the others that the threat of an organized attack on U.S. soil by al Qaeda is all but gone. What's left is the "trickle down" of their ideology to smaller groups and disaffected individuals disaffected here.
Happy Birthday to Mick Jagger, who turned 69 on July 26.
There's not many groups that prompt lists of their top 100 songs. Among my personal favorites:
“Gimme Shelter“ (1969)
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want“ (1969)
“Sympathy for the Devil“ (1968)
“Street Fighting Man“ (1968)
"Dead Flowers" (1971)
Best Albums: Sticky Fingers, Let it Bleed, Beggars Banquet, Aftermath, December's Children, Exile on Main St, High Tide and Green Grass
Here's another one of my photos (not that I took them, just that they are photographs rather than posters or from books or the internet):
If you are in London for the Olympics or anytime until August 27, check out the Rolling Stones exhibit at the Somerset House. Here is the exhibit guide with thumbnail pics. And here are some photos of the Stones at the opening. You can take a video tour with Mick and Keith here.
How many times have you've seen the Stones live in concert? I think my first concert was in Denver, CO in 1972 and my last was Thanksgiving Night in Denver in 2005.
A few weeks ago the Rolling Stones put their 2006 concert in Rio de Janeiro, where they played for 1.5 million people, on You Tube. You can watch here (no commercials.) Here's You Can't Always Get What You Want. I'll end my little tribute with, what else, Gimme Shelter (2006 Shanghai, HD version from the Stones official You Tube channel.).
The Stones are spending their days now rehearsing, for some limited touring this fall.
Opening ceremonies will be replayed on NBC tonight. Here's a recap from Reuters.
Who are you expecting to soar? What are the most anticipated events?
Here's a thread to talk about the Olympics.
Update: Absurd decision by NBC to make the opening portion of its Olympic coverage about security and the problems. Plus too many commercials and too much commentary. I'm already done watching -- 8 minutes.
Lawyers for James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shootings, today filed this motion requesting discovery concerning the federal and state law enforcement agents who were were aware of or involved in the investigation of the package Holmes allegedly sent to a psychiatrist/professor at C.U., details of which were leaked to the media. [More...]
The motion states that the package was addressed to Dr. Lynn Fenton, a psychiatrist who was treating Holmes. (So Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist prior to the shootings.) It alleges the material included confidential and privileged communications between Holmes and his doctor. According to 7 News, Dr. Fenton is an assistant professor and the medical director of the school's Student Mental Health Services.
It also alleges the leaks violated the court's protective order and order restricting extra-judicial comments.
Holmes' lawyers say they will be requesting sanctions as the leaks have compromised his right to due process, a fair trial and an impartial jury.
One less thing for the Obama campaign to worry about.
The startng point of the discussion is Neil Barofsky's criticisms of Geithner's refusal to consider measures that truly help homeowners and consumers if such measures in any way are opposed by the banks.
Using Ezra Klein's interview of Barofsky, Yglesias writes:
Team Tim would say that they're trying to create a well-capitalized banking system in order to bolster the broader economy. Team Neil counters that the broader economy would be better served by a policy that imposed steep losses on banks and instead repaired household balance sheets. Beneath all the anger and accusations and counter-accusations is a fairly wonky policy disagreement about the relative importance of household balance sheets versus the credit channel to laying the preconditions for growth.
So who's right? I think this is actually a much more difficult question than partisans on either side are willing to acknowledge. Team Tim has bolstered their argument with the overblown notion that homeowner bailouts "launched the Tea Party" via Rick Santelli and are therefore politically impossible and thus one doesn't even really need to address the merits of the case. On the other hand, Team Neil has never really presented a coherent alternative course of action that takes real account of the consequences of imposing very large losses on the banks.
This simply misstates the issue. As someone who supported (and supports) TARP, my criticism, and I think Barofsky's, are primarily aimed at the failure to condition bank bailouts on their taking actions that helped homeowners. Exhibit A is of course the disastrous HAMP program.
I don't think Geithner's motivations really matter on this. His policies on the homeowner crisis were simply incompetent, disastrous and by any measure a complete and utter failure. If that answer is difficult for you, then you are either ill informed or not telling the truth.
You can argue that Geithner faced political constraints that did not allow him to go further, but that is not what Team Geithner has ever said. They said they got the policy just as they wanted. This seems likely in that there was over $40 billion available to structure a much better homeowner relief program (for say, a HOLC program.)
Drum is a little better, but not much. He writes:This is basically a long way of saying that we didn't do enough and we didn't spend enough money. Yes, the banks had to be rescued. But homeowners should have been rescued too. The stimulus needed to be bigger and longer. And the Fed should have ignored the wailings of the wealthy and temporarily targeted a higher inflation rate. None of this would have stopped the recession, but it would have made it a lot shorter and shallower. It's a crime that millions have suffered needlessly because we didn't have the guts to stand up and do this.
But this is the Team Barofsky argument.Sure there are other criticisms in terms of bank reform, but on the issue of homeowner relief, Drum is agreeing with Barofsky.
The long and short of it is Tim Geithner has a been a terrible Treasury Secretary when the country needed a great one.
Speaking for me only
The opening ceremony of the Olympics is today.
Yesterday, Mitt Romney easily won the Upper Class Twit Olympics:
Also too, check out my sister in law's fancy chicken coop.
At the request of the district attorney, Arapahoe County Chief District Court Judge William Sylvester has ordered the University of Colorado not to turn over James Holmes' school records to the media. The media requested the records pursuant to Colorado open records law. The order is here.
In its motion, available here, the People disclosed some of the charges it will be filing against James Holmes. They include 12 counts of first degree murder, numerous counts of attempted murder and other charges.
Yesterday, the Judge granted a defense motion for law enforcement compliance with its order restricting extra-judicial comments: [More...]
The District Attorney’s Office and Law Enforcement Agencies involved in this case are hereby ORDERED to immediately comply with this Court’s previous order limiting pre-trial publicity, are directed to refrain from disseminating information that presents a danger to the fairness of a trial in this matter as set forth in the Court’s Pre-Trial Publicity Order (D-2), and are prohibited from disseminating any information or material that appears to possibly be privileged, or that Defendant alleges is privileged, until issues of privilege can be fully litigated.
The District Attorney’s Office is hereby ORDERED to immediately serve all Law Enforcement Agencies involved in this case with this Order as set forth in the Court’s Pre-Trial Publicity Order (D-2)
The media isn't happy with the judge's order barring cameras from Monday's court appearance. Why? The court has reserved seats for 35 media outlets and the public. If print journalists can't adequately describe a routine court appearance for the filing of charges without a camera, they should seek new employment. The cluelessness of the media is captured in this comment by the linked Washington Post reporter:
The “Dark Knight Rises” shooting rampage transfixed the country: What was the motivation? What kind of person could do this? The courtroom glimpse of Holmes offered some sense of the deranged person accused of the crime, an impression that could not have been conveyed by the most gifted wordsmith.
From a brief court appearance, the reporter has already decided Holmes is "deranged." Others viewed the same proceeding and thought he was acting. Still others thought he had been forcibly medicated. How does any of this rampant speculation assist anyone in understanding anything?
Getting a glimpse of Holmes at a routine hearing like the one set Monday for filing of charges is not going to answer any of the public's questions. It will sell papers and cause traffic spikes at media websites. It will only further baseless speculation and generate adverse publicity, making it more difficult for the court to seat a jury when and if the time comes.
If either the media or the members of the public want to view Holmes in court, they can get in their car or on a plane and stand in line at the courthouse Monday morning and view him in person. If they can't be bothered to do that, they can wait, like the rest of us, until evidence about his mental state and motivation emerges through witness testimony and admitted exhibits at a substantive hearing or trial.
Reporters from our local news stations and newspapers will be at hearing. Colorado has very competent reporters. I have no doubt they will be able to adequately express -- in words-- what transpired at the hearing. If the national news media wants the revenue from selling more newspapers and garnering more online traffic because of the case, they should shell out the bucks to send out a reporter and cover it live, rather than from a camera feed 2,000 miles away.
The State's Attorney yesterday filed its 5th Supplemental Discovery notice, stating that pursuant to an earlier court order, it was releasing the names of five witnesses whose statements had previously been provided in redacted form. These are witnesses who appeared in the media and identified themselves. They include Brandy Green, Mary Cutcher and her roommate Selma Mora, Cheryl Brown and her son Austin McClendon, and Cynthia Wibker, former Homeowner Association Treasurer.
Today the state re-released 30 pages of witness statements with the witnesses names filled in. I have uploaded them here. Other witnesses are identified besides the 5 named above.
I think the state misidentified Cutcher and Mora's house number. The notice says it is 2031 Retreat View Circle instead of 2831 Retreat View Circle. 2031 RVC isn't in the first block of houses that back up to the shared path between houses where Trayvon Martin's body was found. I assume it's a typo. (Added: Or else they have moved, but the only address relevant to the case is the one they lived at on 2/26 and that is 2831 Retreat View Circle.)
I think the state should also have released the names of Chad, who has been interviewed with his mother Brandy Green on Fox News, and Witness 18, the "Teacher," who made numerous TV appearances with her attorney. Even though the Teacher didn't use her name, she told her story on TV and the Court's disclosure order isn't limited to those who used their real name.
I'll be on Daily Kos Radio with Jesse LaGreca at 11 Eastern. Listen here.
I'll be discussing gun issues, Mitt Romney and the Supreme Court's role on the issue. And of course we'll be discussing the tax issue and the passage in the Senate of tax cuts for person earning $250K or less.
Kim DotCom's new video, Mr. President, is out.
What about free speech, Mr. President
What happened to change, Mr. President?
...Are you pleading the 5th Mr. President?
Are you going to fix this Mr President?
It's got cool photos of Anomymous members, the Megaupload defendants in jail, happy people singing in the streets, a catchy tune and good direction and sounds, undoubtedly by Printz Board, the musical director for the Black Eyed Peas, who worked on the MegaUpload song.
I've listened to it 5 times already, and it gets better each time. [More...]
"We must expose the people who chose to turn innovation into crime."
And a plea for people-powered politics:
Let's get together, let's all unite
Or they will do whatever they like
...It starts with you and me
We will make history
Share the song, follow @kimdotcom and visit Kim.com. You can download Mr. President (song or video) for free. You can also read his his 10 facts on the MegaUpload case.
@Kimdotcom. He may be my favorite person of the year so far.